Dante Giacosa was born in Rome (where his father was doing his military service) on January 3, 1905. Living in Neive (CN), after classical studies in 1927 he graduated in mechanical engineering at the Polytechnic of Turin and was immediately hired by Fiat. He held here all his long and fruitful career, ascending from the first assignment of designer up to the highest level of management. In 1933 he was promoted to head of the technical office of vehicles, in 1955 head of the senior technical management of vehicles, in 1966 division director and board member of the company.
In the initial phase of his career, from 1928 to 1946, he completed his training as a designer and acquired extensive experience. The first project to which he contributed as responsible for the design was that of Zero A, since 1933: it was about to be born the Topolino (1936), with the main target (then fully achieved right with "our" 500) to create a popular car.
The second period, 1946-1970, saw him responsible for the design in many areas of the company and It's good to remember not limited to cars, but in various fields: from the aeronautical to the marine ones, from large engines for industrial and energetic purpose to military and special vehicles. Sometimes he took charge of not only the engines, but also the overall design of the car: it is the case of the 1957's Nuova 500, for which in 1959 he was awarded the prestigious "Golden Compass". The Fiat Style Centre was always under his leadership.
On 29 January 1970, Fiat announced his appointment as adviser to the Presidency and the Directorate-General and both national and international representative of the company. Shortly after he resigned having reached the age limit and dedicated to consulting and writing of various memoirs. He died on March 31, 1996 in Turin, at the age of 91.
He was also a lecturer at the Polytechnic of Turin (1947-1966) for the course of construction of engines; his best-known book, "Internal combustion engines", was adopted by many university courses. He also held various roles outside the Fiat; he was President of CUNA (Commission for Unification and Normalization of Vehicles), ATA (Car Technical Association) and FISITA (Fédération Internationale des Sociétés des Ingénieurs des Techniques de l'Automobile), member of SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers, USA) and of the british Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
This is the list (in chronological order) of the cars he took charge of, some entered in history, other less known to the general public: the Fiat 500 (Topolino);Fiat 508 C/1100 "Nuova Balilla"; Fiat 2800; Cisitalia D46; Cisitalia 202; Fiat 1500 D; Fiat 1400 and 1900; Fiat Campagnola; Fiat 8V; Fiat 1100 103, 1100 TV, 1100 Familiare; Fiat 8001 Turbina; Fiat 600 and 600 Multipla; Fiat Nuova 500 and Autobianchi Bianchina; Fiat 1800, 2100, 2300; Fiat 1300 and 1500; Autobianchi Primula; Autobianchi A111 and A112; Fiat 124 and 125; Fiat Dino; Fiat 130; Fiat 128; Fiat 127; Fiat 126.
One of his most profound features was the perfect combination of technology and aesthetics: his Cisitalia 1100 was exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York as an example of contemporary artwork and in the motivation of the "Golden Compass" reads: "the award, emphasizing the courageous renunciation of traditional car representation through a careful review of the whole of its fundamental elements, it intends to bring out the fact that this concept, as well as having led the designer to the maximum limitation of the surface elements costume decoration, marks an important milestone in the path towards a new genuine expression of technology".
In July 1984 Giacosa was on holiday in the Riviera di Levante, and there he was invited to attend the first meeting of Garlenda. So remember Domenico Romano: "At first he was very surprised of the initiative, but, as soon as I had explained the special relationship which, in my opinion, joined Garlenda to 500, he gave us, with great distinction, confidence, promising his presence at the event. It was a great honor to have as guest as designer of Fiat and the small village (380 residents in those years), that I was the Mayor of, did his best to rise to the occasion. It was reserved for the Neive's engineer a suite in the prestigious hotel "Meridiana"; it was organized a conference on the social aspects of the phenomenon 500 supervised by journalist Stefano Pezzini. Giacosa and his gentle wife gave way to cars participants for the parade along the streets of Val Lerrone.
It was two full and exciting days! The engineer, on departure, moved by the welcome reserved for him, wanted to give me, his book "40 years of design at Fiat" and signed it.
In the years following the contacts between Giacosa and the Fiat 500 Club Italia continued, marked by cordiality and esteem. When he disappeared, it was made a special issue - draped in mourning - of "4piccoleruote". In 2006, the tenth anniversary of his death, there was the third edition of the Memorial dedicated to him, a large gathering obviously set in Neive. To Giacosa is called the Multimedia Museum of 500, whose inauguration godmother was his daughter, Mariella.
James Di Carlo, historic member of the club, said: "I am sure that by now in the afterlife there are no angels still going on foot. Giacosa has certainly designed for them a means of transport to get to work in the city called Heaven ... ".
Abbiamo accolto con molto piacere ieri la visita di Emanuele Giacosa, nipote del padre della Fiat 500, Dante Giacosa, al Museo della 500 di Garlenda (SV).Visite 186
Ieri sono venuti in visita da Meda (MB) al Museo della 500 il cantante Stefano Morandi assieme alla moglie Carla.Visite 234
Questa mattina il Museo della 500 "Dante Giacosa" di Garlenda (SV) ha ospitato 15 bambini del Campo Estivo "Tra Cielo e Terra" della cooperativa "Lo scivolo degli angeli".Visite 184
Ingresso di una nuova vettura in esposizione al Museo "Dante Giacosa": è la L dl Claudio Ardissone. Socio di Diano Marina (IM), Claudio dal 1985 partecipa a tutti i Meeting di Garlenda con la 500 del nonno Libero.News Museo 204
Mercoledì 26 agosto visita di un'esperta di territorio e turismo. Alla sede del Club e del Museo "Dante Giacosa" è infatti arrivata Rossana Cinzia Rando.Visite 199
Ieri sono venuti in visita al Museo due cinquecentisti olandesi: Erika e Robert Beuseker, soci del Van De Fiat 500 Club Nederland.Donazioni 656
Apertura eccezionale del Museo Multimediale Dante Giacosa di Garlenda, ieri domenica 16 agosto, con 2 guide speciali: il presidente fondatore Domenico Romano ed il presidente onorario Sandro Scarpa.Visite 474
La segreteria ed il Museo della 500 "Dante Giacosa" resteranno chiusi sabato 15 agosto.Eventi 239
Questo pomeriggio è venuto a trovarci presso la sede del Club il fiduciario del Coordinamento di Milano Nord Alessio Campaner.Visite 272